Romantic Detachment

Oct 18–Nov 7, 2004


At P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Grizedale Arts presents a project that explores notions of Romanticism. Romantic Detachment places Grizedale Art's innovative and unique curatorial approach into the context of New York City through a number of context-specific commissions by European and American artists, and by establishing a production/live space in P.S.1's second floor international project wing, which will be open to the public for three weeks.

Romantic Detachment brings together road trips, films, performance, tea, hero-worship, discussions and music to explore the collisions and intersections between the ideals of European Romanticism and an alternative grassroots Romanticism and to examine the dialogue between a Euro-centric tradition and a new world vision. Romantic Detachment spans from Great Britain's Lake District to New York City, locations that, while they seem contradictory, both hold manifestations of these two Romantic ideals.

Grizedale Arts is based in the heart of the Lake District, an area with an established reputation as the birthplace of British Romanticism. The radical thinking that established the Romantic Movement quickly gave way to a search for utopia and the idea of the landscape as an escapist paradise. The romantics established both the romantic ideal of the landscape and man's relationship to it and also the idea of the artist and the artist's role in relation to society.

Much contemporary art culture gazes beyond this traditional ideal of Romanticism to an alternative Romanticism defined by an exploration of culture operating outside the cannons of "high art." This definition of Romanticism can be found in America's history in the Wild West, in music culture, and in folk traditions. This Romanticism rejects the Euro-centric ideals of high culture but keeps at its core a similar idea of the hero. Romantic Detachment aims to explore both of these positions as witnessed in New York City and the Lake District.

The production base for the exhibition, P.S.1's international project wing, will be open to the public from October 16 to November 7, 2004. The three weeks of public activity will include live performances, interviews, and activated installations, including an afternoon of live performance on October 23rd. Over forty European and American artists will participate in the project including: Olaf Breuning, juneau/projects, Beagles and Ramsay, Henry VIII's Wives, Bedwyr Williams, Olivia Plender, Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane, Garrett Phelan, Sarah Pierce, David Blandy, S Mark Gubb, Emily Wardill, William Pope L., John Russell and Mark Beasley, Cindy Smith, eteam, Jesse Bercowetz, Matt Bua and Carrie Dashow, Adam Chodzko, Nathaniel Mellors, Brian Dewan, and Nina Katchadourian.

Romantic Detachment is curated by Adam Sutherland and Sarah Glennie, and is conceived in collaboration with The Henry Moore Foundation Contemporary Projects. Romantic Detachment is supported by the Northern Rock Foundation, The Henry Moore Foundation, Arts Council of England North West Grants for Arts, Arts Council of England National Lottery, Arts Magnet, Rural Regeneration Cumbria, The British Council, The Scottish Arts Council, Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaion, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, and Chelsmore Apartments, New York.

Grizedale Arts is a ground-breaking commissioning and residency agency based in Grizedale Forest in the Lake District of Great Britain. The program supports both emerging and established artists in making new works that relate to the unique context of the Lake District and surrounding area. A key aim of the program is to engage with local communities and events, integrating artists' thinking and communication into mainstream and traditional activities. In recent years Grizedale Arts has developed a program of annual events, which have, to date, launched artist's projects and provided artists with an opportunity to extend their practice into new areas outside the gallery context. These projects include Grizedale Live, Grizedale Show, Roadshow and in summer 2003, A Live Wedding.

The Henry Moore Foundation Contemporary Projects is one of three programming areas of The Henry Moore Foundation. Contemporary Projects frequently works with artists on new commissions outside the gallery, finding interesting and appropriate spaces in which to show work.



If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to